Friday, July 20, 2007

Fear strikes out

Blogger-reporter Michael Totten parachutes into Baghdad and immediately tempts the Fates:

After having spent several days [in] Baghdad’s Green Zone and Red Zone, I still haven’t heard or seen any explosions. It’s a peculiar war. It is almost a not-war.


You’d think explosions and gunfire define Iraq if you look at this country from far away on the news. They do not. The media is a total distortion machine. Certain areas are still extremely violent, but the country as a whole is defined by heat, not war, at least in the summer. It is Iraq’s most singular characteristic. I dread going outside because it’s hot, not because I’m afraid I will get hurt.

Well, then. Mr. Totten doesn't explain just how many days he's spent outside the Green Zone, or whether he was with or without military cover (I can guess). Maybe all those tortured corpses they find in the streets every day are all holograms, or something. The Iraqis have nothing to fear!

For the record, I haven't spent a day in Baghdad, but here's somebody who has, and here's what he had to say to a Senate panel yesterday:

If there is one word I would use to sum up the atmosphere in Iraq -- on the streets, in the countryside, in the neighborhoods and at the national level -- that word would be fear.

That's Ryan Crocker, our Bush-appointed envoy to Iraq. Jeez. Doesn't he know it's the heat that gets to you in Baghdad, not the terror-loving-insurgent-crazies?

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 12:54 PM

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